Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Building a masterpiece for dinner.....

Fresh baby spinach lightly sauteed with extra virgin olive oil and garlic....
Lasagna noodles: I use the oven ready kind, but I softened them up in near-boiling water. This helps to ensure they are soft and cooked thoroughly.
Making your own sauce is the secret to a fantastic lasagna. My sauce includes celery, green bell pepper, onion, and Italian sausage.
The layering is the funnest part! I do not like ricotta cheese, therefore I use a cream sauce drizzled in between the layers. Sometimes I make my own, however, this time I used Alfredo sauce from a jar.
Ready for the oven!

Ingredients

4 celery ribs, chopped

· 1 large onion, chopped

· 1 large green pepper, chopped

· 2-1/2 cups water, divided

· 3 Italian turkey sausage links (4 ounces each), casings removed

· 1 can (29 ounces) tomato sauce

· 1 can (28 ounces) diced tomatoes, undrained

· 3 cans (6 ounces each) tomato paste

· 1/2 cup minced fresh parsley

· 5 to 6 garlic cloves, minced

· 3 teaspoons Italian seasoning

· 1 teaspoon sugar

· 1/8 teaspoon salt

· 1/8 teaspoon pepper

· 6 cups hot cooked spaghetti

· Shredded Parmesan cheese, optional

Directions

· In a Dutch oven, combine the celery, onion, green pepper and 1 cup water. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat to medium; cook, uncovered, for 10-12 minutes or until vegetables are tender and water is reduced.

· Crumble sausage over vegetable mixture; cook until meat is no longer pink. Stir in the tomato sauce, tomatoes, tomato paste, parsley, garlic, Italian seasoning, sugar, salt, pepper and remaining water.

· Bring to a boil. Reduce heat; simmer, uncovered, for 45-50 minutes, stirring occasionally. Serve with spaghetti. Garnish with Parmesan cheese if desired. Yield: 12 servings.

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